Last Row Standing
by: chicago designslinger
[1029 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago (1875) /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
Brownstones are ubiquitous in New York City, not so much in Chicago. And if you know where to look you’ll find a dusty, dark-stoned facade here and there, but to find a entire row of them still standing in the city is pretty unique.
[1023-29 N. Dearborn Street (1875) Washington Square Historic District, Chicago /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
Built in 1875, and once part of a line of 10 Italianate-styled row houses, 1023-29 N. Dearborn Parkway are book ended today by sleek, 21st century condo blocks. Although number 1029 at the north end of the trio has been maintained with care, the middle number at 1025 sits abandoned and forlorn while 1023 has barely survived intact.
[1025-23 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
In 1875 a city directory lists Henry Field, brother of the retailer Marshall as the occupant of number 1023. A few years later Stuyvesant Peabody, whose parents owned a large mansion up the street, briefly occupied the home. Like many of these grand, old residences the large rooms were chopped-up into smaller spaces and the building became a rooming house for men. But in 1934 after the repeal of Prohibition, a nightclub, Le Boeuf sur le toit opened its doors on the lower floors of the row house, and by 1950, Le Boeuf was serving meals on their sidewalk cafe while inside patrons were listening to the songs of the one-named chanteuse, Poppy.
The fashionable and very successful restaurant/nightclub suffered extensive fire damage during Poppy’s heyday, and did not return. The row is now part of the Washington Square Historic District, today a hair salon occupies the built-out ground floor of number 1023, and its the brownstone facade has been painted over since these pics were taken a few weeks ago.